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27 July 2022

18 Months of Engine Room

18 Months of Engine Room

It has certainly been a busy 18 months for Engine Room @ LeedsBID since it launched to support business changes, challenges and opportunities in the city.

An innovative addition in helping drive skills and training solutions to meet the needs of employers, the provision is set to continue to evolve as its figurehead announces plans to move on.

At its helm driving its on-going success has been Dianne Wainwright, Head of Business Development at LeedsBID. Since joining LeedsBID in 2018 to lead on business and sector specific support, Dianne has been involved in strengthening business connectivity across the city centre, and the BID’s provision of tailored training and skills development.

As well as the management of the Engine Room, she has also taken the Chair of the Yorkshire Centre for Training and Development’s Employer Board as well as being the lead for the successful Restaurant Ready programme co-designed with Leeds City College, Leeds City Council and Leeds Hotels and Venues Association to furnish unemployed people with the skills and experience required by the leisure and hospitality sectors.

Announcing her forthcoming retirement, Dianne said she was delighted to see what the Engine Room has achieved in its first 18 months as well as how it is continuously evolving the delivery of its essential support to meet the needs of businesses and helping continued city centre growth through the work of LeedsBID.

Since its launch, more than 1,000 people have received training through the Engine Room, with over 100 courses delivered to the value of £55,500, while its provision of exclusive use of free meeting rooms for LeedsBID levy payers (worth the equivalent of over £160,000) has proved invaluable in bringing businesses and employees back together.

Engine Room will continue to offer a varied training and skills programme, helping support new opportunities for businesses and assisting the city centre’s recovery. New areas to be explored include mental fitness training & coaching, neurodiversity in the workplace, achieving carbon neutrality for business and leadership training.

A new position Head of Engagement is to be appointed within LeedsBID’s Senior Management Team to continue the vital work of all aspects of business engagement including management of the Engine Room, in addition to managing a new team of consumer facing welcome hosts.

“Having had the opportunity to create and develop Engine Room @ LeedsBID over the past 18 months has been a real privilege. It’s been an amazing experience to work alongside so many resilient and inspiring people who lead great teams of people across the retail hospitality and business sector in Leeds,” Dianne said. 

“With the support of my colleagues at LeedsBID, we have now got Engine Room to a place where it will continue to grow, develop and deliver an important support function for levy payers.”